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Ring, watch, ring – a nyårssymbol that brought the hot feelings

When the SVT in early december announced that it will be the actor Mikael Persbrandt who read the poem ”Nyårsklockan” at Skansen on new year's eve let the reactions do not wait. Several well-known actress reacted strongly and said that the choice was insensitive. ”What the hell”, wrote Eva Röse on Instagram. ”Congratulations To Sweden! You just rang up, the old and the new”, wrote the comedian Mia Skäringer, and in the comments was the actor Helena Bergström with: ”What is this about? It is a Kafka world we live in?”

In the background there is the big appeal #tystnadtagning in skådespelarvärlden which was started during the metoohösten 2017, where many female actors testified about sexual harassment and abuse. At the same time published Mikael Persbrandts autobiography, as in the first version that was sent out to journalists contained a memory or drömpassage in which he described a sexual assault directed by a renowned director – a passage which was deleted from the book before it was published.

Mikael Persbrandt. Photo: Eero Hannukainen / IBL Bildbyrå

the SVT has previously commented on the choice of narrators to Expressen. ”We have hired Persbrandt for his artistic merit, it is about interpreting a poem,” said programbeställare Eva Beckman on the SVT, and continued: ”I have full respect for all the choices we make can not be to the liking of all.”

And who reads ”Nyårsklockan” has been a sensitive issue several times earlier in the uppläsningens 123-year history.

made by Nicholas Bradshaw, who normally was postexpeditör but also worked as an entertainer on, inter alia, Skansen under the name of Magnis at Nabben. The year after that was the snowstorm and new year's celebrations were canceled, but in 1896 resumed the new tradition – this time with Anders de Wahl as the narrators, then the 28-year-old teaterelev.

Anders de Wahl came to be strongly associated with the ”Nyårsklockans” reading during the coming decades. Admittedly shifted uppläsarna from year to year, and it was not every year the poem is even read, but Anders de Wahl came back often and was also Sweden's most hired nyårsdeklamerare from 1928 onwards. From 1934 he read the poem every year until his death in 1955 – even if he is the last ten years of his life deklamerade it in a Swedish Radio studio, and turned the celebration outdoors at Skansen to the younger forces.

When Wahl went away also disappeared ”Nyårsklockan”. It was not until 1977 revived one tradition – but now, it was decided also that the new year celebrations at Skansen would be sent in the SVT. The actor Georg Rydeberg got the assignment and made a success, and had left the job until his death in 1983. Then took the Jarl Hill over which the narrators, he also, until his death in 1997.

a new Nyårsklocksläsare was considerable interest in. Aftonbladet arranged a läsaromröstning which was won by a large margin by Jan Malmsjö. But the SVT and Skansen chose instead – for the first time in 102 years – a female narrators: Margaretha Krook. ”The one and the other will surely raise the eyebrows of a woman received the mission”, said the then Skansenchefen Anna-Greta Leijon to Aftonbladet.

elmore leonard reads "Ring, watch, ring" at Skansen in stockholm in 1998. Photo: Ingvar Näslund

Krook made his debut in the regnslaskoväder and was well approved of " reviewers: ”Krook has the voice, her diction, pondusen. And she is very popular,” wrote Expressen. But there was a mysterious error that had not been with Krook to do: the clock to the museum, just hit eleven shots instead of twelve! ”The miss,” wrote the Aftonbladet.

There was Krook, who had the honor to read the 1900s last ”Nyårsklockan” and guide the Swedish tv-viewers into the new millennium. But in 2001, she went away, and this time it was Jan Malmsjö who got the job. ”Perfect!”, described the Expressen his debut as diktläsare and himself was Malmsjö relieved and happy and toasted in champagne after he got off the Sollidenscenen – despite the fact that he pulled slightly over time and the stroke of midnight has been delayed a little bit.

Jan Malmsjö maintains the tradition by standing on the Sollidenscenen at Skansen in Stockholm at midnight to the new year 2008. Photo: Bertil Ericson / TT

After thirteen years, it was again time to change narrators, and it was Loa Falkmans tour to ring in the year 2015. But not all were happy over the choice of another man. Playwright Dimensions Abdulla, and the actor Bahar Pars put together our own ”Nyårsklockan”-video of the protest in which 13 female creators – among other Evin Ahmad, Bianca Kronlöf and Farnaz Arbabi – read the poem.

also dramatically. Loa Falkman missed the stroke of midnight with over a minute – and the bells started ringing in the middle of the poem. Loa Falkman took it all with ro: ”What fun. Yes, yes. But when it came to anything, it is fun. The unpredictable is delicious,” he said to the Aftonbladet newspaper about the matter.

From Loa Falkman has uppläsarna replaced every year, much like they have done with SVT's julvärdar the last few years. It was Malena Ernman, who got the assignment to read in the year 2016 – but her open anti-racist stance and involvement in the issues of refugees provoked in some quarters, and she got a lot of hate in social media.

" I Choose to stick out the chin, may I take it, it belongs to the job. It concerns me not in the back, " said Sly to the TT on the matter.

After last year's incident where you went over the stroke of midnight, it had been decided that rather than begin the poem in the extra time – and They had, on the contrary two minutes to spare.

Almost all of the narrators in modern times has taken some liberties with the text. A verse about the pending Messiah is deleted regularly, and many browsers also change a few words or phrases – and even if no direct plummeted in protest, they have small adjustments have been noticed. Pernilla August, who read the year of 2017, which changed, among other things, out of the line of text ”call hugsvalelse to the wounded bosom” against ”call now consolation to the wounded bosom”, and later in the poem, she switched ”but call to sångarhjärtan skaparglöden” against ”call to everyone's hearts levnadsglöden”.

Pernilla August reads the poem ”Nyårsklockan” from Sollidenscenen 2016. Photo: Johan Jeppsson / IBL Bildbyrå

lucky it was the following year, it retained more of Pernilla August's changes and also found on a couple of their own: ”ring in the tusenåra peace of the kingdom 'was, for example, ”ring out the eternal peace of the kingdom'.

Skansenchefen John Brattmyhr think that small changes are okay – not least because it is a translation with many years on the back of the neck: ”Where there is little room”, he said to Expressen. But excessive interference in the original text is trying to avoid.

– There are many people who wanted to change it through the years, but we still try to stand behind Tennyson and his choice of words as far as possible. I tend in all humility to underline that we want to read Tennyson on the basis of the original idea, has Brattmyhr said to Expressen.

About Mikael Persbrandt intend to write about in the text we do not know yet. And anyone who does not think he is a good choice for the job, can choose to look at the alternative ”Nyårsklockan” instead – the actor Bahar Pars, which together with the Dimensions Abdulla made my own version as early as 2014, draws namely together an even bigger collection of female actor to read the poem in years. Along with actor Emma Broomé, she has accumulated a hundred well-known and lesser-known actors from all over the country as all parts of the assignment to read in the new year in a movie: ”Ring, watch, ring...”

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